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A Bad Bet - Suit Alleges That Head of IMG Gambled on College Sports

By Joseph M. Hanna

In a suit recently filed in Los Angles County Superior Court, sports and entertainment superpower IMG Worldwide's chairman Ted Forstmann is accused of betting more than $600,000 (in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $23,000) on the men's NCAA basketball tournament from 2004 to 2007-- all while IMG was representing top college coaches.

Forstmann's alleged gambling habits came to light in a lawsuit filed by Agate Printing. Agate alleges fraud, interference with contract and breach of contract related to lost business that it alleges Forstmann had promised to it. Forstmann stated that the allegations set forth in the lawsuit are inaccurate and IMG stated that Forstmann was not involved in the firm's representation of college coaches.

IMG plays a significant role in the multibillion-dollar business of college sports. According to the lawsuit, after Forstmann made bets worth nearly $100,000 on the 2007 NCAA men's basketball tournament, IMG significantly increased its investment in collegiate athletics. Today, IMG is the licensing agency for nearly 200 collegiate properties, including the NCAA, the BCS and several universities including Ohio State University, University of Florida, and the University of Oregon. It should be noted that IMG was not representing the NCAA from 2004 to 2007. However, as an NCAA Vice President stated, "as almost everyone knows, the NCAA doesn't like anyone betting on college sports."

As the case progresses, it will be noteworthy if any athletes, coaches or colleges get dragged into Forstmann's mess or if the NCAA chooses to open an investigation into the issue on its own. For example, Jay Wright, Villanova's head men's basketball coach, is listed as a client of IMG on its webpage. According to the lawsuit, one of Forstmann's many bets on the 2006 NCAA was a $7,000 wager on Villanova made on March 25, 2006.

For more information about the claims, see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/sports/01gambling.html?_r=1

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 1, 2010 9:12 PM.

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